MLB Rumors

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Jason Lane to start spring training opener for Padres Wednesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com

Pitcher Jason Lane will be the Padres spring training starter when the team opens Cactus League play Wednesday, manager Bud Black said Saturday.

Lane pitched 10 1/3 innings in 2014 with six strikeouts.

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Giants' Angel Pagan returns to field with live batting practice Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com

Giants outfielder Angel Pagan is taking live batting practice Saturday after he was expected to remain off the field, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Pagan, who has been dealing with a neck injury, told reporters his neck is feeling fine. Last season, Pagan hit .300 with three home runs, 27 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 383 at-bats.

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Reds manager Price on Phillips: I have not lost confidence in him
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com

Reds manager Bryan Price is expecting to see a fully recovered Brandon Phillips at second base this year.

"I have not lost one bit of confidence or expectation that he's going to have a big year," Price said.

Phillips had his lowest RBI total in the last eight years in 2014, posting just 51. It was also the third lowest on-base percentage of his career, posting a .306 mark.

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Tigers bullpen all but set for opening day
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus is feeling confident about his pitching staff headed into the start of the season. So much so, that he's expecting six of the seven spots to already be taken by Joe Nathan, Joakim Soria, Bruce Rondon, Al Alburquerque and Joba Chamberlain, reports MLive.com.

"Those six, it'd be surprising if they weren't on the team," Ausmus said Friday morning. "Something strange would have to happen just based on their performances from the past."

This leaves Alex Wilson, Josh Zeid and Buck Farmer all battling for the final slot in the bullpen.

"You're always concerned about injuries," Ausmus said. "I think that's where the depth comes into play, where, if something unexpected comes up, we have a lot of arms we feel like can produce at the major league level. ... If something happens at any time, we feel that we have a quality arm that we can slide right in."

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Mariners pitcher James Paxton to begin playing catch Monday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com

Mariners pitcher James Paxton is scheduled to start playing catch Monday as he recovers from a forearm injury, pitching coach Rick Waits said Saturday.

Paxton, who went 6-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 74 innings pitched in 2014, is building toward throwing a bullpen session and Waits wants to see him get to five innings pitched in the Cactus League.

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Mets manager Collins: Juan Lagares is preferred leadoff hitter
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com

Mets manager Terry Collins said Saturday he prefers Juan Lagares as the team's leadoff hitter as long as he proves he can handle it, reports ESPN.

Largares spent most of last season batting eighth with Curtis Granderson in the leadoff spot. Lagares hit .281 with four homeruns and 47 RBI in 2014.

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Mariners pitcher J.A. Happ working on his changeup
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com

Mariners pitcher J.A. Happ is working on his changeup and hoping to use it more this season, pitching coach Rick Waits said Saturday.

Happ went 11-11 with a 4.22 ERA in 158 innings pitched in 2014 with 133 strikeouts.

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Rays hopeful Alex Colome will join team next week
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com

Rays president of baseball operations Matthew Silverman said Saturday Alex Colome is currently throwing at a Dominican Republic complex and is hopeful he will join the team next week after his visa gets approved, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Colome posted a 2.66 ERA over 23 2/3 innings in 2014.

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Reds' Price: No competition between Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com

Reds manager Bryan Price said Saturday there is no competition at shortstop between Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez, reports the Cincinnati Inquirer.

Cozart was the starting shortstop for the team most of last season, hitting .221 with four home runs and 38 RBI in 506 plate appearances. While Suarez hit .242 with four home runs and 23 RBI in 244 plate appearances. 

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Tigers' Victor Martinez expected to report to spring training Monday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com

Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez was in town for photo day Saturday and is expected to report to spring training Monday, manager Brad Ausmus told reporters.

Martinez is still rehabbing from a knee injury and has yet to be cleared to participate in baseball activities. The 36-year-old hit .335/.409/.565 over 561 at-bats last year. 

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